Arthur M. Tasker died at Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital, in Greenport, N.Y., on Nov. 8, 2020. He was born in the same hospital on Oct. 29, 1939, a few minutes before his twin, John Tasker (died 2016), to Madeline Iacovino, homemaker and a founder of the Greenport Shakespeare Club (died 1977), and Henry Tasker, attorney, Suffolk County District Attorney and Justice, New York State Supreme Court (died 1987).
Arthur attended the Greenport Schools, graduating as valedictorian in 1957.
At Cornell University (’61), he earned a Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering degree on a full scholarship from Grumman. He was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and often said he enjoyed “a complete undergraduate experience” — that did not include the dean’s list.
After graduation Arthur joined Texas Instruments in Attleboro, Mass., where he worked on a team building nuclear reactors for Adm. Hyman Rickover’s Navy. Thereafter he worked in industrial marketing at Allied Chemical in Morristown, N.J., and at the World Gold Council in New York City as international industrial marketing director, promoting gold usage in industry and dentistry. At the age of 49 he decided to go to law school: “It was the family business, but I got interested long after my father would have paid for it.” He graduated magna cum laude from The Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in 1992. He practiced with a corporate firm, subsequently in partnership with a Cardozo classmate and as a solo practitioner.
In retirement, Arthur and his wife of 40 years, Lucia (Staniels), owned and operated a joint exhibit for American children’s book publishers at the annual Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy. They traveled widely in Europe, as well as to Egypt and Jordan just before the Arab Spring, the Galapagos, Canada and throughout the United States.
Arthur was an avid fly fisher and was active in the Nature Conservancy and Peconic Land Trust, including the project committee. In recent years he enjoyed growing, eating and sharing oysters he raised in front of his Sandy Beach cottage in conjunction with Cornell’s SPAT program. He served on the Greenport Village Zoning Board of Appeals and was a reasonably frequent, perhaps not always gladly welcomed, speaker/contributor to discussions of Village Board issues. He was a member of Peconic Landing’s buildings and grounds committee, serving two terms as chair. A fifth-generation Greenporter, he was featured in Andrea Cotes’ “Port of Views” historical show in Mitchell Park in 2015.
Arthur was a nurturer, with boundless curiosity and a virtually bottomless “idiot’s ditty bag,” as he called it, and which had a capacious side pocket for risqué limericks. He could talk to virtually anybody about something and was a good storyteller. He spoke French and Italian and liked good food, good drink — especially Balvenie whiskey — and good design. His retentive memory could call up virtually every meal eaten in every trattoria in every hill town in Italy. His daughter lovingly referred to him as the Walking Encyclopedia.
Arthur dealt handily with plumbing, electrical, construction and carpentry matters. He taught his daughter how to shingle a roof (with help with some friends) and that she could fix or make almost anything. He attributed his cooking skills (“Man cook meat,” said with a Tarzan swagger) to watching a cranky chef while working a split shift at Porky’s restaurant at age 14.
Social liberal, political centrist, fiscal conservative, spiritual seeker, Arthur believed in science; the power of technology for good and bad; the power of mankind for same; and the miracle of the universe.
In addition to his wife he is survived by his beloved daughter, Alex Marx, son-in-law Peter and his adored 16-year-old grandson, Theo, who live in Los Angeles, and many cherished friends and relatives.
Private burial will be followed by a memorial gathering later. Arrangements were handled by Horton-Mathie Funeral Home in Greenport.
Memorial donations may be made to Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital or Peconic Land Trust.
This is a paid notice.